When Tori Kudo wonders Who will rescue me from this body?
on "Miserable Man," the tone-deaf Maher Shalal Hash Baz frontman could be speaking for any of us rooting through L'Autre Cap
to locate acorns hidden among the rotting leaves. Here, this Japanese group aided by assorted Olympia, Washington, scenesters, including Calvin Johnson and Melanie Valera mucks through 27 tracks of inconsistent quality using instrumentation conventional, orchestral and decidedly not available at a Guitar World near you. At its best, Maher Shalal Hash Baz staggers and sloshes like a renegade New Orleans marching band improvising after a few too many cases of Guinness (see: "Dove," "One That Is Missing Here"). At its worst the teeth-grinding cover of Derroll Adams' "Portland Town," the insipid "First Love" and many others Maher Shalal Hash Baz proves conclusively that the twee aesthetic that its label champions isn't universally inclusive.